November 25, 2015

On the Menu This Thanksgiving:
Mixing Traditions & Inventing New Ones 

By John Rudolph

Turkey brined or basted? Stuffing with mushrooms or cornbread? And that perennial Thanksgiving dessert puzzler, pumpkin or minced meat pie? (A little of both for me, thanks.)

Actually, the choices for Thanksgiving dinner in our nation of immigrants are gloriously far broader than that. That means that this Thursday, feasts that fuse what’s considered familiar Americana with the flavors of distant homelands will come steaming out of millions of kitchens from coast to coast. 

Food is always a hot topic for Feet in 2 Worlds, a project of the Center for New York City Affairs that for more than 10 years has created radio programming on under-reported immigrant communities. That has included a number of broadcasts and podcasts, picked up on public radio and other outlets and linked below, celebrating the culinary diversity of Thanksgiving in contemporary America. (One memorable story, for example, focused on Thanksgiving 2013’s rare holiday harmonic convergence with Chanukah.) So while waiting for the feast to begin, or grazing on the leftovers in the days ahead, take a look and give a listen – and then pass the mofongo dressing, por favor.

Thanksgiving Recipes with Immigrant Flair

Thanksgiving on the Radio: Pavochón, ‘Thanksgivukkah,’ and Other Fusions

Food in 2 Worlds: Immigrants Celebrate Thanksgiving by Mixing Traditions & Inventing New Ones

John Rudolph is executive producer of Feet in 2 Worlds. Check out the second annual Feet in 2 Worlds online food magazine, examining today's food culture through the eyes, experiences, and taste buds of immigrant farmers, food makers, and food educators.